September 30 fake phones deadline stands

September 21, 2012
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A mobile phone user, CCK will switch off fake phones/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 21 – The Ministry of Information and Communications is emphatic that it will not extend the September 30 deadline for switching off fake mobile phones.

Dickson Nyandiga who is an Under Secretary at the ministry called on Kenyans with the fake mobile phones to hand them to companies that are collecting the handsets for recycling and endeavour to acquire genuine gadgets.

He said the switch-off of the fake phones by the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) is not meant to punish Kenyans but to eliminate the market for fake phones in the country.

“I don’t think there is anyone in Kenya who would want to have a devise that is a hazard. So it is important that those Kenyans with the counterfeit phones go and get genuine handsets and I believe all the stakeholders are in support of this move and hence there will be no further extension,” said Nyandiga.

He was speaking during the launch of a Samsung campaign dubbed ‘give up the fake’ in a move to support the mopping up of all the counterfeit devises.

Samsung Electronics East Africa Business Leader Robert Ngeru said those surrendering fake phones during the campaign will get genuine phones at discounted prices.

“A fake phone is not legally imported into the country, it’s not licensed and it has not been authenticated by CCK. So what does that mean? CCK has lost revenue; the Kenya Revenue Authority has also lost revenue in terms of the importation of that devise and it’s a health hazard. Besides that, people with fake phones are committing crimes.”

The campaign will simultaneously roll out in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret, Nakuru and Thika.

“I don’t think there is anyone in Kenya who would want to have a devise that is a hazard. So it is important that those Kenyans with the counterfeit phones go and get genuine handsets and I believe all the stakeholders are in support of this move and hence there will be no further extension,” said Nyandiga.

Early this week Nokia also partnered with local mobile service providers and retail outlets to collect and dispose of counterfeit phones, including Safaricom, Airtel, Nakumatt, Naivas, Phonelink, and Tuskys.

According to CCK industry statistics, close to three million mobile phones in the Kenyan market are counterfeit, translating to about 10 percent of all active mobile devises in the country.

By switching off the fake phones, CCK will be in compliance with the Kenya Information and Communications Regulations 2012,which requires all mobile phones to be type approved.

Contravention of this statute attracts a jail term not exceeding three years, a fine not more than Sh300,000 or both.

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